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"Xiaomi has played a pivotal role in driving Smart TV adoption in India"

After a muted festive season last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, the willingness to spend is higher. As per a ZestMoney Survey, 72% of Indians plan to splurge on electronics & gadgets, while 59% prefer BNPL to fund festive purchases. 62% of the respondents revealed that festive budgets have gone up compared to last year. A recent market research by YouGov gives a big boost to the Diwali Expense Index, which is generally indicative of Q3 sales growth in India.

The Indian festive season is a crucial time as consumer demand is at its peak with many planning several small and big-ticket purchases. With increased vaccination and the general opening of the economy, the survey has witnessed a positive sentiment around budgets and shopping at physical stores, even as online shopping continues to be popular among people.

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Adgully is gearing up for the 5th edition of its marquee IP – MOBEXX. Into its 5th year now, MOBEXX Summit & Awards 2021 will be held on November 30, 2021. MOBEXX is an endeavour to decode the mobile marketing environment and predict upcoming trends. As a run-up to MOBEXX 2021, Adgully will be bringing a series of interactions and feature reports to cover various aspects and trends seen in the fast growing Mobile marketing ecosystem in India.

In conversation with Adgully, Jaskaran Singh Kapany, CMO, Xiaomi Indiaspeaks about how the brand has fortified its presence in the Smart TV market, performance during the festive season this year, campaign strategy, consumer buying trends, and more.

What kind of traction have you seen for Xiaomi smart TVs in the festive season so far. What do you expect in terms of growth/ numbers for the festive quarter?

Xiaomi is India’s No. 1 smart TV brand since Q2 2018. We are proud to have played a key role in driving smart TV adoption in India. Since our inception, we have sold over 7 million devices in the country, with over 1 lakh+ being sold in just the first 3 days of the festive sale. We have seen a 53x jump in demand for 4K TVs during this festive season (vs Pre-festive).

During the first wave of the Diwali Sale, 8 out of the top 10 best-selling Smart TVs listed on Amazon were from the house of Mi and Redmi. Redmi Smart TV X 50”, Mi TV 4A  32”, Mi TV 5X 43” witnessed maximum demand from consumers. Overall, we expect to end the festive period on a significant high.

How is the overall Smart TV category performing in India?
The Smart TV category has virtually exploded in India – from 15% in 2018, it is now at a whopping 80% today, and we are proud to have played a pivotal role in driving Smart TV adoption in India. We continue to maintain our leadership in the Smart TV category from the last 13 consecutive quarters, with 22% market share (as per IDC). With a deep understanding of our consumers’ needs, over the last three years, we have focused on providing an unparalleled line-up of Smart TVs. This year, within the first 3 days of Diwali with Mi sale, we sold over 1 lakh Smart TVs, 1.15 lakh+ Streaming Devices, and registered a 53x jump in the 4K segment (vs pre-festive).

We have been able to achieve this success by focusing on offering a perfect amalgamation of hardware and software and providing customisation as per the Indian audience and the market. Amplifying user experience, with our in-house software, Patchwall, we have become one of the largest TV content hubs and are offering deep integration with 30+ content partners. With the focus on 3 core pillars – Content First approach, offering consistent experience, and building India-specific customisations, we will constantly work towards making television viewing an enjoyable experience.

Could you elaborate on your latest campaign?

A bit of background first - It is interesting to note that while the Diwali Season accounts for 25-30% of annual sales, the actual purchase decision journey for TVs begins 4-6 weeks before the actual purchase. So, the ‘timing’ of the campaign and its execution is very important. The latter because of the sheer volume of advertising during this period. The sameness of format equals zero cut-through. So, the campaign was launched across platforms a full month before Diwali – in time to let the superiority of the ‘PatchWall’ messaging settle in to educate customers during their purchase decision journey.
Now onto the campaign itself -
The Smart TV category has virtually exploded in India and from 15% in 2018, it is now at a whopping 80% today. But while the category is called ‘Smart’, it is ironic that most brands say or do very little to demonstrate why they are ‘Smart’. Most differentiation is done largely on the basis of ‘Hardware’.

For us, this was the insight – How can you be smart if you don’t demonstrate or show how smart you are?

As the No. 1 brand and the leader of the Smart TV category, we felt it was incumbent upon us to not only educate the customer, but also ‘demonstrate’ how Xiaomi TVs are the smartest. The campaign takes this head-on. And also showcases how they need to opt for the ‘Smartest TV’, not just smart.

We have showcased the power of ‘PatchWall’, our unique ‘software’ interface which gives a variety of useful features to consumers and eases their content discovery journey. PatchWall has been designed especially for India after taking feedback from thousands of Indian consumers over the last few years and today it is the foremost smart, software experience in the market.

Through the 6 digital films and other social/ digital work across platforms, the PatchWall features are subtly integrated into the films by highlighting some of the most common issues faced by Smart TV users.

Starting with choosing the right content to figure out the platform, PatchWall makes content viewing a seamless experience. With ‘Universal Search’, users can find any movie, series, or content itself, among all the applications available on our television.

Allowing users to decide ‘what to watch’ with the latest integration with IMDb with ‘viewer ratings’, users can figure out what to watch straight from the home screen, based on user-aggregated data from the world’s most authoritative source for information on movies and TV shows.

Providing parents a measure of calm and security by ensuring that their kids only view age-appropriate content while staying entertained, Patchwall also comes with ‘Kids Mode’ and a parental lock feature.

In addition to the 6 films across  YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and presence on leading OTT platforms, there is also a large surround digital campaign, which will also feature engaging statics, social contests and other content-driven interventions, etc.

We have crossed 20 million+ views within just a few days of the campaign launch.

What kind of trends have you seen in consumer spending, ad spends by brands, and sales during this festive season?

In general, customer spends, company ad spends seem to have shown a resurgence. It can be said that overall the market/ consumer sentiment is higher than the prevailing quarter.

What is the kind of online/ offline split seen in brands marketing strategies?

We are a digital-first brand. For us, reaching the right audience at the right time is extremely important. Digital helps here immensely, we also get instant feedback which we incorporate almost real time into our work.

The current campaign comprises 6 films in multiple languages across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and presence on leading OTT platforms. It is supplemented with a large surround digital campaign which features statics, gifs/ cinemagraphs, social contests, web apps, etc.

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